“Don’t delay your investment decisions, do your homework properly and get started. If you don’t “get on the bus” then you are going to miss the opportunity to be part of the agri development in Zambia.”

Exclusive interview with Wayne Wiid, Executive Country Manager, AFGRI, who are silver sponsors at the upcoming Agritech Expo in Chisamba, Zambia.

1)    What products, services and projects of AFGRI are you most excited about at the moment?
AFGRI is a leading food and agricultural business which commenced operations during the year 2000 in Zambia. AFGRI offers the following services:
* tailor-made agricultural finance options for farmers
* handling & storage of grain
* grain marketing
* one-stop mechanization solution to farmers of all sizes

Our focus during the Agritech Expo will be mechanization and we are authorized dealers for John Deere, Lemken and Rovic Leers (KUHN) in Zambia. These are world class products and they are well known internationally for their solid reputation.

2)  What makes your company competitive in this market?
The range of quality proven products which we sell and our backup support (parts & technical service) makes us the obvious choice for the discerning farmer.

3)  Any specific projects or success stories you would like to share?
We have been at the forefront of bringing mechanization to the small scale/emerging farmer. Here we have partnered with institutions like ZNFU, Musika, CFU and John Deere. A “tractor for maize” deal has also been developed by AFGRI and we are very excited about this alternative financing solution.

4)  What in your view are the main challenges for the agricultural sector in Zambia?
The difficulty of access to finance for the small scale/emerging farmer is a concern, progress has been made but there is still a lot of work to be done.

5)  What advice would you give someone who is interested in investing in the Zambian agri-sector?
Don’t delay your investment decisions, do your homework properly and get started. If you don’t “get on the bus” then you are going to miss the opportunity to be part of  the agri development in Zambia.

6)  What is your vision for the sector, also in terms of the region?
The opportunity for growth is immense, by applying proper mechanization techniques & good farming practices the yields of small scale / emerging farmers can be increased dramatically. This will lead to the improvement of the financial wellbeing of these farmers, their families and communities. Overall this will also have a positive effect on the whole of Zambia as a country and to become the bread basket of Africa.

7)  What surprises you about this sector?
The eagerness of the small scale/emerging farmers to learn more and their ingenuity. We have had John Deere experts here for field days and small scale farmers made suggestions to these experts on how to improve on certain elements of the tractor designs in order to be more suitable for Zambian conditions.

8)  Why did you decide to partner with AgriTech Expo?
The level of professionalism in which the expo was presented to AFGRI made it an absolute choice.

9)  What will be your main message at AgriTech Expo?
AFGRI is here to stay and contribute to the wellbeing and success of all farmers, irrespective of size.

10)Anything you would like to add?
I would like to say a great word of thanks towards our loyal customers and my dedicated staff here in Zambia for their support and commitment.

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